Three Ireland deploys carrier-grade NAT from Procera

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Three Ireland has rolled out Procera Networks’ PacketLogic carrier-grade NAT software across its network. Three has already deployed Procera’s PacketLogic 20000 DPI platform, meaning the two technologies will work together to reduce CAPEX and monitor the user experience even after a subscriber IP address has been remapped.

As a resut of the new deployment, Three Ireland can now maintain end-to-end subscriber visibiity. With PacketLogic analytics and CGNAT from Procera, Three can see both sides of the subscriber connection and identify packet loss, latency, and throughput rates to improve the overall experience in real-time. Analytics and policy enforcement rules can be maintained too.

Three operates 2G, 3G, and 4G networks, with 96% coverage and over two million subscribers served. Procera’s CGNAT functionality lets Three send high-volume streaming media and social networking traffic direct from its PacketLogic 20000 deployments. This makes it possible to bypass existing CGNAT infrastructure, significantly reducing costs when expanding the network core to keep up with growing subscriber bandwidth demands.

“Offloading high volume content and services with Procera’s CGNAT solution enables us to optimise our CAPEX spend,” said Paul Proctor, IP Design Manager at Three Ireland. “PacketLogic’s support for multiple use cases in our deployment delivers a higher ROI than a standalone CGNAT solution.”

Procera’s CGNAT solution combines the application and subscriber awareness of PacketLogic with the critical infrastructure requirement to perform network address translation for mobile subscribers, conserving valuable IP address space. With operators competing over network quality, returning end-to-end subscriber quality awareness to engineering and customer care teams (that was lost with simple CGNAT solutions) is a significant customer satisfaction win.

PacketLogic’s unique implementation of carrier-grade NAT includes NATSync, an extension to Procera’s FlowSync technology. It enables asymmetric NAT deployments without requiring clusters of NAT systems to handle traffic asymmetry. NATSync exchanges port block assignments for subscribers between active systems to ensure that asymmetric traffic can be processed on any system on the network. NATSync also delivers redundancy and simplifies scale-up and scale-out as network operators grow their deployments to keep pace with bandwidth growth.

Alexander Havang, CTO at Procera Networks, added: “Carrier-grade NAT is a critical infrastructure service that fits naturally with the stateful processing in PacketLogic. Our implementation of NATSync to simplify asymmetric NAT delivers radical simplicity to large-scale CGNAT deployments.”

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